Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 13 March

Mahinur's home which sits right on the bank of the river in Bangladesh

Mahinur's home on the edge of the river in Bangladesh

“They proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least.” 

Jonah 3:1-10

God threatened to destroy the people of Nineveh. But the people of Nineveh repented.  

Every person, even the King, fasted and put on sackcloth. God saw that the people wanted to change their ways and had mercy on them. 

Today, more and more people are feeling the effects of climate change. Especially those of our sisters and brothers who are poor and most vulnerable.

The front line of climate change 

The community where Mahinur lives, in south Bangladesh, is surrounded by rivers and is near the coast. When high sea tides come in, the fields often flood and animals are left stranded on little islands, surrounded by sea water. 

In 2007, Cyclone Sidr destroyed homes and crops. Many animals drowned because of sea water flooding. Since then, all the water around Mahinur’s home has been very salty, making it hard to grow crops. 

Then Cyclone Mahasen struck in 2013. Five people in her area died.  

Mahinur’s home is right on the river bank. She has to cross the river by boat to get to the rest of the village. High tide brings water to her door. The land around her home is flat, leaving her exposed to strong winds and driving rain.  

Mahinur and her family are living right on the edge. The edge of the riverbank, but also the edge of what is possible. The state of the land and the river make it impossible at times to get enough food. She has no cash reserves to rebuild if her home is damaged by a cyclone.  

A call from Pope Francis 

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis recognises the hardship that climate change is adding to the lives of people who are poor, and calls urgently for an ecological conversion. 

“The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion… Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” (#217) 

All three readings today show us that our Lenten fasting and repentance cannot be superficial. We must truly mean to change. So, let us do what we can to make a change and care for the earth, our common home.

Lent prayer

God the Creator, open my heart to change. Lead me to care for our common home, and all my brothers and sisters who share this earth with me. Amen. 

Act

Respond to the words of Pope Francis. Be part of protecting God’s handiwork as part of our climate campaign, Our Common Home, and encourage others to do the same.

Sign our climate petition

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